After two days of amazing Magic, the Top 4 of World Championship XXVI is set.

Don’t miss our coverage of Day 1 of World Championship XXVI.

The Play-In Bracket

Day 2 began with four players already in the Top 8—Marcio Carvalho, Eli Loveman, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, and Seth Manfield—who advanced from the winners group on Day 1 and were therefore able to take the morning off. The remaining eight players were organized into a double-elimination play-in bracket to fill the final four slots in the Top 8.

The play-in bracket on Day 2 of World Championship XXVI

Sebastian Pozzo started the World Championship 0-2 and battled back in the second group with a 2-0 performance in the elimination group to make the play-in. He then 2-0’d again in the play-in bracket to advance to the Top 8, where he was joined by 2-0 player Jean-Emmanuel Depraz in the Top 8, who also advanced from the elimination group on Day 1.

Autumn Burchett and Chris Kvartek lost their matches in the play-in bracket semifinals, dropping to the lower bracket where they faced Raphael Levy and Gabriel Nassif in the battle of the 1-1s for the final two stops in the Top 8. Burchett and Nassif emerged victorious and joined Pozzo, Depraz, Carvalho, Loveman, Damo da Rosa, and Manfield in the Top 8 of World Championship XXVI.

The Top 8 Bracket

Up until the Top 8, World Championship XXVI used fairly traditional double-elimination brackets to winnow the field. But the Top 8 bracket didn’t use a full re-seeded bracket—instead, the four players that advanced straight to the Top 8 from the winners group on Day 1 were placed directly into the upper semifinals to play against each other as if they had already won the first round of the bracket. The four players that advanced from the play-in group earlier in the day, on the other hand, were placed into the lower bracket as if they had lost the first round.

The Top 8 bracket of World Championship XXVI

This meant that Nassif, Burchett, Pozzo, and Depraz were all one loss away from elimination in the lower bracket. But while they played best-of-three matches in the lower bracket—as one would expect in a Top 8—the upper semifinals was best-of-three games. As such, both Damo da Rosa and Carvalho won their matches to advance to the upper finals and the Top 4, knocking Manfield and Loveman into the lower bracket.

Nassif and Pozzo defeated Burchett and Depraz, respectively, to stay alive in the Top 8. Nassif went on to defeat Loveman in the lower quarters two matches to zero to take his spot in the lower semifinals of the Top 4, while Manfield recovered from his defeat to Damo da Rosa to beat Pozzo in an intense Mono-Red mirror and punch his own ticket into the Top 4.

The Top 4 of World Championship XXVI pose on the beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

With the Top 4 set, players went home for the day and will return on Sunday at 3 PM Eastern to finish the bracket. All matches tomorrow (the upper finals and lower semifinals and finals) will be best-of-three matches—except for the grand finals, where the player who advanced from the  lower bracket will need to win three matches while the player from upper bracket will only need to win two to become the World Champion.


Top 4: Marcio Carvalho, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Gabriel Nassif, and Seth Manfield

Eliminated: Eli Loveman, Autumn Burchett, Chris Kvartek, Raphael Levy, Sebastian Pozzo, Piotr Glogowski, Jean-Emmanuel Depraz, Thoralf Severin, Matias Leveratto, Javier Dominguez, Andrea Mengucci, and Ondrej Strasky

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